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dhATee-panchakam.

From: Tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan (surangam_at_tr.dot.net.in)
Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 08:39:53 PST

 dhATee-panchakam attributed to Sri koorat-t-AzhvAn.

[[A sa-hR*daya (friend) in Srirangam suggested that I follow up my short
note on the 'panchakam' with the full text and paraphrase in English.

[[ I have taken the liberty of introducing pada-vicchEdam (separation of
constituent words of a phrase or 'samAsam') for easier readability in
transliteration.

[[ I have entirely relied on the surpassing Tamil commentary of kAnchi
Prativadi-bhayankaram Annangaracharya svami, though I confess to my own
inability fully to translate into English his rich and excellent
annotations in Tamil.]]

INTRODUCTORY.

The 'pUrvAchArya-stOtra-mAla' printed (1949) by Prativadi-bhayankaram
Annangaracharya Svami carries a one-line credit of 'dhATee-panchakam' to

Sri kUrattAzhvAn [and, reportedly, others]
~~ Srivatsachihna-miSrAdibhi: anugr.heetam iti prathitam.

In his subsequent comprehensive commentary, Anna Svami makes the
following opening observations:--

"Some hold this five-verse tribute as composed by kUrattAzhvAn;  there
are otbers who consider that this was strung together with a verse
authored each by AzhvAn, ANDAn, embAr etc.   Be that as it may, this
'stOtram' is dulcet to the ears and has long been included in the
protocol of daily recitation ('nityAnusandhAnam').     The name
"dhAtee-panchakam" is quite appropriate to this five-verse tribute to
the
verity [of the theology and philosophy] of emperumAnAr."
(Added: 'dhATee' meaning victory.)

On a personal note it occurs to me that, going by the unity of its
diction, this could just be a single-author composition.  It shares
the unique characteristics of AzhvAn's "pancha-stavam", namely, the
vedic
flavour, strident phrasing, specific allusions,  and the emotional
richness of references to the noble AchArya.

The succinct delineation of Ramanuja's exposition of the
'vEdAnta-sUtram' as contained in the 'panchakam' could have come only
from someone like AzhvAn who had  intimate seminars with the AchArya
even as he spoke out his unrivalled SribhAshyam to his privileged
amanuensis. [EngaL AzhvAn ~~ vishNuchitta, the AchArya of naDatUr ammAL
~~ too had a like privilege subsequently when he was commissioned by
Emperumanar to assist him in writing out the concluding part of
SribhAshyam, after Emperumanar returned to Srirangam from Tirunarayana
Puram, and found that AzhvAn had gotten blinded by the rabid Saiva
chOzha.  Anyway,  Engal AzhvAn's assitantship in SribhAshyam
composition was of shorter duration than that of AzhvAn.]

It is important to remember that our AchArya personages did not give
room to wasting emotions when their protocol and place of worship
suffered  disturbance and, instead, concentrated on alternative positive

programmes. Thus, during his 'exile' to Tirunarayanapuram, Ramanuja got
the 'pancha nArAyaNa pratishThA' executed by mudali-ANDAn, with the
support of the hoySaLa ruler vishNu-vardhana.  Parasara-bhattar gave us
the enchanting Sriranganatha stotram [beginning,
"sapta-prAkAra-madhyE..."] while he had to leave Srirangam for
tirumAl-irum-SOlai.   Vedantacharya devised his protective incantation
'abheeti-stavam' when he had to seek shelter in Satyamangalam during the

savagery of Malik Kafur's brutes in Srirangam during 1310-1320 (?).

During his long years in Tirunarayanapuram, it was a routine with
Ramanuja incessantly to recite his incantation,

"Sriman ! Sriranga-Sriyam, anupadravAm, anu-dinam samvardhaya!"

as the standard invocation for the well-being and security of the holy
city of Srirangam [and, by implication of  the expression
'Sriranga-Sri',
all the other divya-dESam and the surpassing values associated with
them];
AzhvAn, for his part,  had possibly composed the 'pancha-stavam'
after he was disabled from the SribhAshyam assistantship, and as he kept

emitting his 'Arti' (distress and deprivation in being separated from
Ramanuja) in the direction of Tirunarayanapuram where his AchArya had
reached. This is my own surmise on a re-reading of the famous 'taniyan'
~~ "yO nityam achyuta-padAmbuja-yugma-rukma-vyA-mOhata:" ~~
which happens to be the opening verse of AzhvAn's
'Sri-vaikuNTha-stavam'.    It is possible that the phrase
"jainEma-kanTheerava:" (in the 'dhATee-panchakam') is a specific
reference to  Ramanuja's prevailing over the horde of Jaina debaters
in Tondanur.

It is thus plausible that the 'dhATee-panchakam' could well have been
the tribute paid by AzhvAn to his AchArya, composed during his
separation from him, and being excited by reports of Ramanuja's
philosophical  'conquests'  in the 'foreign' territory of Hoysala.

===============================
"dhATee-panchakam" tribute to Sri Ramanuja.
===============================

SlOkam (1) is an adoration of Sri Ramanuja as the very standard of
victory of Lord Sriranga.
(2) - (3) detail the values symbolised by his triple staff [
'tri-daNDam' / 'mukkOl ' ].
(4) speaks of his sanctified thread ( ' brahma-sUtram ' ).
(5) is the concluding tribute ~~ the ' SAttu-muRai '.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
pAshaNDa-druma-shaNDa dAru-dahanaS chArvAka-SailASani:
bAuddha-dhvAnta nirAsa-vAsarapati: jAinEbha-kaNThee-rava:
mAyAvAdi-bhujanGa-bhanGa-garuDaS trai-vidya-chUDAmaNi:
Sri-ranGESa-vijaya-dhvajO vijayatE rAmAnujO/yam muni:  (1).

Saint Ramanuja is (like unto) the bush-fire that lays desolate the
clumps of wild growth, like the cynics and heretics (pAshaNDa).   [[
Such orgistic or life-denying cults are enumerated with very appropriate
and colourful epithets in verse 99 of rAmAnuja-nURRantAdi. ]] ;

he is the thunder-bolt ('aSani:') that pulverises ungainly eruptions of
human thought, as of the 'chAru-vAka' who spins out an elaborate sophist
'logic' on the single premise ('pratyaksham-Ekam chArvAka:), Truth is
just what you can see;

the sun that banishes the envelope of darkness ('dhvAntam')
characterised by 'buddhist' agnosticism;   the roaring lion that
slaughters the wild tuskers of 'jaina' atheism;  the brahminy kite
('garuDa') that swipes off the reptilian nihilism ('mAyA-vAdin').

He, this Ramanuja, is the crest-jewel of those who cultivate the lore of
the (triple) vEda.   Glory unto him that is the winning ensign of Lord
Sriranga !

[In his yatirAja-saptati, Vedantacharya comes down equally heavily on
the mushroom of so-called religions which distract mankind ~~
"tathAgata-kathA-Satai: tadAnusAri-jalpai: api, pratAritam idam
jagat...", meaning, the world is led astray by the several books of
tathAgata, buddha gautama, and by the prattles that arise therefrom!]

pAshaNDa-shaNDa giri-khaNDana vajra-daNDA:
pracchanna-bAuddha makarAlaya-mantha-daNDA:
vEdAnta-sAra sukha-darSana deepa-daNDA:
rAmAnujasya vilasanti munE: tri-daNDA:  (2).

He charges the hosts of craggy hills of heresy as with Indra's
thunderbolt.    He stirs and scoops out the very sea-bed of the negative
crypto-buddhist ('pracchanna-bAuddha') logic.    His triple-staff
('tri-daNDam') is held very like a light to discern the essence
('sAram') and culmination of the vEda ('vEdAntam').

chAritrOd-dhAra daNDam chatura-naya-pathA/lankriyA kEtu-daNDam
  sad-vidyA deepa-daNDam sakala-kali-kathA-samhR*tE: kAla-daNDam
tray-yantA/lamba-daNDam tri-bhuvana-vijaya chhatra-sauvarNa-daNDam
dhattE rAmAnujArya: prati-kathaka-SirO-vajra-daNDam tri-daNDam  (3).

The great preceptor Sri Ramanuja wields his  staff as seems to touch the
disciples with character and observances.   It is the direction post
towards logical integrity, the lamp-pole that lights up the esoterics
(embedded) in the vEda, the weapon that exterminates the entirety of
dark falsehoods ('sakala-kali-kathA').   And the smart cane of the
vEdAnta-spirit that subdues wily misinterpreters;   the golden handle of
the victory-canopy in all the three worlds.    And the stick that firmly
comes down over the heads of futile debators.

[Vedantacharya in yatirAja-saptati refers to the disciplining cane, '
vEtra-sAras-tri-daNDa: ' ]

trayyA(:) mAnGalya-sUtram tri-yuga-pada-yugA/rOhaNa/lamba-sUtram
sad-vidyA deepa-sUtram sakala-kali-kathA samhR*tE: kAla-sUtram
prajnA-sUtram budhAnAm praSama-dhana-mana: padminee-nAla-sUtram
rakshA-sUtram muneenAm jayati yati-patE: vakshasi brahma-sUtram  (4).

He wears his yajnOpaveetam thread ('sUtram') like it is the sacred chain
of wedlock-pendant of the Lord's spouse, the vEda.   The thread is the
rope-ladder that one climbs to reach the feet of  bhagavAn**, also the
wick lighting the lamp of right learning (that is, the esoterics of
vEda).    It is the noose flung to capture the horde of dark
falsehoods.    The sacred thread of Sri Ramanuja, the chief of ascetics,
constitutes the talisman of knowing.   It rises like the stem of lotus
in the pellucid streamlet of thoughts of the noble personages revered
for their qualities of self-restraint.  His sUtram webs around such
noble ones protectively.    This is how the brahma-sUtram glistens on
his chest.

[** 'tri-yuga-pada-yuga' ~~ the feet of bhagavAn.  'tri-yuga' for twice
three, meaning six.   This is one of the names of the Lord.   The name
triyuga-nArAyaN would be familiar to those who have visited
badarikASramam on pilgrimage.   The name 'triyuga' signifies  the six
unique characteristics collectively known as 'bhaga', hence of
'bhagavAn'.   The six qualities  are Universal Lordship, heroism, fame,
glory, wisdom, detachment.    "AiSvaryasya samagrasya veeryasya yaSsa:
Sriya: ,   jnAna-vairAgyayOS- chaiva shaNNAm bhaga iteeranA".
vishNu-purANam 6-5-74.]

pAshaNDa-sAgara mahA-baDabA-mukhAGni:
SriranGa-rAja charaNAmbuja-mUla-dAsa:
Sri-vishNu-lOka maNi-maNDapa mArga-dAyee
rAmAnujO vijayatE yati-rAja-rAja:  (5).

He, the chief of the leaders of ascetics, shall be the submarine volcano
(the horse-faced 'baDabA' fire) in the ocean that dries up and calms the
tossing waters of heresy.   Yea, he, Ramanuja is the devotee of the
lotus feet of Lord Sriranga-rAja.   He leads you over the path to the
crystal chamber in the heavens of Sri Vishnu.   Glory unto Ramanuja !

[The epithet <SriranGa-rAja charaNAmbuja-mUla-dAsa: > is almost quoted
by Vedantacharya in the yatirAja-saptati
<rangESa-bhakta-jana-mAnasa-rAjahamsO>, and by Manavala-ma-muni in the
yatirAja-vimSati <Sri-ranGa-rAja charaNAmbuja-rAja-hamsam> ~~ the royal
swan that reposes in the lotus feet of Lord Sriranga-rAja'.]

aDiyEn rAmAnuja-dAsan,
Sundara Rajan
at Srirangam.



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